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"Skara Brae" Top 5 Page for this destination Scotland Off The Beaten Path Tip by margaretvn

Scotland Off The Beaten Path: 258 reviews and 421 photos

  Skara Brae
by margaretvn

A wonderful and mysterious place which had been on our list of things to see for a long time. For us it was really a "must see" but really I suppose it is an off the beaten path pace.
Skara Brae was unearthed in 1850 during a storm, it had been buried for 4,500 years.This has to be one of the best known prehistoric monuments in Britain, this is because its astounding state of preservation allows us a extraordinarily evocative glimpse of times long past. Some of its houses stand to eaves level, whole stretches of passage way are still roofed and a lot of the stone furniture is still in place and easily recognised as furniture. Skara Brae is a small village consisting of 6 to 8 houses which were built, modified and rebuilt over a period of some 600 years between about 3100 and 2500 BC. Today it lies exposed on the shore of the Bay of Skaill, that is the result of marine erosion. It position today is very different from its original one when it lay in fertile grasslands well away from the sea. It lay in what was then an ideal situation for agriculture, animal breeding, hunting and fishing.
Most of the houses show a remarkable uniformity of design. The best preserved (also the last to have been built) stand 3 metres high at roof level. Basically each house consists of a single squarish room, up to 6 metres across with 2 metre thick walls. The corners are rounded and there are small cupboards built within the thick walls. There is a single doorway which has barholes to secure a wooden door. Opposite the door is a shelved dresser built of stone. Remains of decorated and plain pots have been found on the site and they may have stond on the shelves. It the rooms centre is a large slab-lined hearth and on either side is a stone-panelled bed.
remote but worth the effort of getting there - the whole island is wonderful and the people are so friendly.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 11, 2004
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